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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: Spliced – St. Michan’s Park, Dublin

Writer: Timmy Creed

Reviewer: Ciarán Leinster

Although Spliced largely focuses on Timmy Creed’s relationship with his local GAA club, and specifically hurling, the fact that it is set in a handball alley is arguably the most important element of this show. This allows Creed to constantly puck around a sliotar, animating his speech with direct, hard action. He is rarely stationary within the space, and uses the three walls to perform physical acts which he discusses.

Spliced begins with Creed’s romantic take on the GAA, and the personal sacrifices that success requires, but also the rewards that it brings. This soon denigrates into a solitary, hyper-masculine world, and neatly subverts the opening. At this point, one is optimistic that a new perspective on the GAA will be provided by an articulate, engaging voice. Is it a vital social glue, holding communities together, or does it stir up division and exacerbate patriarchy and solitude?

Creed, towards the end, admits that he doesn’t know the answer, that it’s too complicated an issue to fix on an idea of. There’s no problem with this, as he’s right, but as someone who knows little about GAA, despite growing up in the countryside, I don’t feel that I learnt anything new during this show. Not even his engaging and articulate narration could not prevent this from being the case.

The vacuity and solipsism in this show is never more evident than the final segment, when Creed strips to his underwear, and does yoga moves while talking about parts of his life; as a hurler, actor, and student. He narrates his move from a sport-obsessed jock to a sensitive artist, and while that’s great for him, it reveals little about Irish culture and social life.

Creed is an impressive performer, he has a wonderful sense of space and his body, but he simply does not say enough in this piece.

Runs until 24 September 2017 | Image: Contributed

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